Heartwood Sees Green in Patten Seed

Heartwood Partners has made an investment in Patten Seed Company in partnership with the company’s multi-generation family and senior management owners.

Patten Seed operates seven farms and produces and supplies a variety of turfgrass products to landscapers, contractors, homeowners, municipal, and institutional customers. The company’s products, sold under the Super-Sod brand name, include sod, grass seed, soil and fertilizer compost; and automatic mowers sold under third party brands including Automower (Husqvarna) and Echo Robotics.

Patten Seed has 14 stores in Georgia (7), South Carolina (2), and North Carolina (5) and is headquartered 100 miles south of Atlanta in Fort Valley, Georgia.

“The talented team at Patten Seed has created a transformative retail showroom and online store experience which guide consumers through the process of selecting the right sod for their home’s unique conditions. Their in-store pick-up and flexible home delivery services are top-notch in the sod market,” said James Sidwa, managing director of Heartwood. “We look forward to supporting management’s use of advanced farming technologies to drive continuous improvement in crop yields while ensuring the highest quality products for Patten’s customers.”

“Heartwood Partners is different from other private equity groups we considered: different in approach, with lower-debt and longer investment term and different in attitude, bringing additional resources and support,” said Ben Copeland, Jr., the company’s CEO and second-generation owner. “We feel that our partnership will allow us to supercharge the upward trajectory our business was already on.”

“Patten Seed distinguishes itself as an industry-leading producer of high-quality turfgrass products, providing customers a unique combination of operational expertise and a sophisticated commercial offering through its stores and eCommerce platform,” said Andrea Vandersall, a vice president at Heartwood. “We are excited to build upon Patten Seed’s long history of market leadership as it continues to expand its offering to customers throughout the Southeastern U.S.”

Heartwood Partners invests in family and management-owned businesses that are active in the agriculture, automotive aftermarket, consumer products, distribution, food, industrial services, niche manufacturing, packaging, and specialty chemical sectors. The Norwalk, Connecticut-based firm was founded as Capital Partners in 1982 and changed its name to Heartwood Partners in September 2020.

Heartwood’s investment in Patten Seed was made through its $600 million third fund, Heartwood Partners III LP.

Private Equity Professional | October 7, 2020

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